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10 good Windows 8 apps (Summer 2014)

The Microsoft Store is getting more Windows 8 apps all the time. These ten apps may have slipped under your radar.
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1 of 11 James Kendrick/ZDNet

10 good Windows 8 apps (Summer 2014)

It’s always a good feeling to find a good app. There should be at least one in the following collection that makes you feel that way.

Most of the apps are optimized for touch operation, aka Modern apps. There are a couple of good utilities, one app for the kitchen, and others to help get the most out of your Windows system. There’s even an app for those who’ve recently migrated to Windows from other mobile platforms to help them find good apps.

Many of the apps are free and the others are just a few dollars. There's no need to break the bank to get good utility out of your Windows 8 laptop or tablet.

See also:

Tweetium for Windows 8.1: Best mobile Twitter app (review)

11 top Windows 8 apps for work and play

5 top mobile apps

10 cool Android apps to start the year

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Bins

Both Android and iOS support grouping similar apps in folders by dragging one app on top of another. Bins does the same thing on the Windows 8 taskbar.

You can use Bins to organize your most-used apps any way you like using the drag-and-drop method. Created folders reside on the taskbar. Tapping or hovering over a folder opens a popup so you can access the collected apps.

$4.99

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USA Today

This app brings a nice touch interface to the USA Today news site. You have articles, images, and videos literally at your fingertips.

It is easy to find articles of interest using an enjoyable touch interface. You can share articles with friends using the Windows 8 Share charm.

From the developer:

Features

  • Read stories from USA TODAY's News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel sections. View large article images, watch related videos, and share stories via Windows 8's Share Charm.
  • Flip through the day's best news, sports and celebrity photos as well as Test Drive, Top Travel Stories and Week in Space images in full-screen detail.
  • Watch videos from USA TODAY's News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel sections, featuring Talking Tech reviews with Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham.
  • Get the latest sports scores for NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, college football and basketball.
  • Check the market numbers by index and create a "My Stocks" list, a personalized list that will keep you updated on how your stocks are performing. (Market data delayed up to 15 minutes.)

Free

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The Weather Channel

This is one of the best weather apps on any platform. The beautiful interface puts a wealth of information at your fingers, with good touch control.

From the developer:

Features

  • “Expect rain to start at 3:15pm” — no more guessing! If your weather conditions (snow or rain) are changing within six hours, we let you know the exact time it will happen.
  • Severe Weather Alerts: Delivered right to your desktop weather app, so you are always prepared for inclement weather.
  • Maps & Radar: Customizable and animated radar maps let you go deep into the weather details with pinpoint accuracy. A must have for storm tracking.
  • Personalized Videos: Get your local forecast from one of our favorite meteorologists and check out our favorite weather videos.

Free

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OpenTable

This popular service lets you reserve a table in many restaurants. The app has a great touch interface to make this simple and enjoyable.

From the developer:

Features

  • See available restaurants in real-time, in a list and on a map
  • Narrow your search by cuisine, price, or neighborhood
  • Browse menus and reviews without leaving the app!
  • Make out-of-town reservations when you travel

Free

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TouchMe Gesture Studio

Want to control Windows by touch gestures? This app lets you build gestures to do just that. As clear from the read-me, it only builds the gestures and exports them in a file to work with gesture engines for execution (links to engines included with this app).

From the developer:

***READ THIS FIRST****

The sole purpose of TouchMe Gesture Studio is to enable you to create, edit, and export a customized gesture file and that’s it! This app does not and never will contain the gesture engine that actually brings those gestures to life. However, there is a convenient link within the app to obtain the engine. The engine is free to use for 32 days; after that you can either purchase a full license for the engine or continue to use it for free for up to three gestures.

Free

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Photoshop Express

If the complexity of Photoshop makes you run screaming from the room when all you need to do is touch up your photos, Photoshop Express may be what you need.

The app handles typical functions for working with images, like adjustments for contrast and applying filters.

For those who aren’t comfortable using any app with Photoshop in the name, there’s another app even easier to use later in this collection.

From the developer:

Features

  • Basics: Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip 
your photos. Remove red eye.
  • Auto-Fix: One-touch adjustment for brightness, exposure and shadows.
  • Color: Slider controls for exposure, contrast, clarity, vibrance and more.
  • One-touch filters: Choose from more than 15 eye-catching effects!
  • Upload your photos to Adobe Revel to sync them across your devices.
  • Get creative by adding the Looks Pack* and Noise Reduction Pack**

*available as in-app purchases. The Adobe Looks Pack gives your photos fun, fresh looks with even more one-touch filters.

**The Adobe Noise Reduction Pack minimizes unwanted grain and speckling in your photos

Free

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MetroTube

If you want to watch YouTube videos in a Windows Metro interface, this app is for you.

From the developer:

Features

  • Stream vidoes in HQ, HD and Full HD
  • Access subscriptions, favorites and watch later feeds
  • Customize main hub
  • Live tile
  • Video sharing
  • Video search

Free

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AllRecipes

With a database of over 50,000 recipes, this app is at home in the kitchen. There are tools to help you find just what you’re craving, including recommending dishes that will use the ingredients you already have.

From the developer:

Features

  • More than 50,000 recipes and new recipes weekly
  • Search recipes by ingredient, dish type, and dietary preferences
  • Recipes include photos, nutrition information, rating and reviews
  • Email, pin, post, print and share your favorites!

Free

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CameraStudio+

For simple photo editing, this app is as easy as it gets. It features all the expected editing functions, and presents them in a simple touch interface. There are also some more advanced features that will help you turn that photo into a real masterpiece.

From the developer:

Features

  • Red Eye Removal
  • Photo Editing and Resize Option
  • Upload Photos to Facebook to share them with friends and family
  • Many Unique Filters and Effects and add your favorite filters to quick list
  • Multiple Professional Categories
  • Mutiple UNDO and REDO
  • Six Elegant Photo Frames
  • SELECT AREA feature allows users to apply filters and effects to selected area of the photo

$2.99

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AppSwitch

Not every app on Android, BlackBerry, or iOS is available for Windows 8, so this app is aimed at those migrating from other platforms. Just search for your app on the other platform and AppSwitch will show you an equivalent app on Windows 8.

From the developer:

Features

  • Find Windows 8 apps that are similar to apps on iOS, Android and BlackBerry
  • Search the Windows/Apple/Google/BlackBerry app stores
  • Get notifications when new apps become available
  • Get live tile updates when new apps become available
  • Browse latest, popular and top rated matches
  • View app descriptions, screenshots and reviews
  • Use AppSwitch entirely in SnapView
  • Share apps and matches with friends

Free

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